A nuclear engineering professor interviewed by CNBC said that Japan’s plan to release radioactive water treated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean will have “zero impact” on the environment.
Japan said on Tuesday that Tokyo Electric Power Company or Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, will treat and dilute the water and then pump it out in about two years. The wrecked factory contained more than one million tons of radioactive water, and it would take decades to completely release it.
This move aroused strong opposition from Japan’s neighbors and environmentalists.
However, Brent Heuser of the University of Illinois said that the filtration process will remove most of the radioactive elements in the water, leaving only tri (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen), which is harmful to small amounts.
Heuser, a professor of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia”: “A small amount of rit is not dangerous. It will become very thin. This is not a problem at all and has zero environmental impact.” Thursday.
Despite this, Japan’s neighbors, including China and South Korea, still oppose the plan. Environmental protection organization Greenpeace and local residents and fishermen also raised their concerns.
South Korea has summoned the Japanese ambassador to Seoul, and it is reported that he is exploring ways to contend with Japan’s decision in the International Court of Justice.
In China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Japan in a statement for its “unilateral” decision to release water, while Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian challenged Japanese officials to drink water from the Fukushima plant.
At the same time, Reuters reported that Taiwan said it would continue to express its concerns and pay close attention to relevant developments.
Pollute the ocean
The reactor of the Fukushima nuclear power plant was damaged by a major earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Tokyo Electric Power has been accumulating contaminated water in its tanks, but it may run out of storage capacity by the end of next year.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that releasing water into the ocean is the “most realistic” option.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said: “The water treatment method chosen by Japan is technically feasible and conforms to international practice.” The United States stated that Japan has always been transparent and its approach seems to comply with “globally recognized nuclear safety standards.”
For Heuser, compared with Japan’s release of treated water, there is a bigger problem of marine pollution that deserves attention.
“I want to say to people who are worried about this situation entering the ocean: We pour 8 tons of plastic into the ocean. Because of mercury poisoning, pregnant women should not eat tuna, and the ocean food chain also contains microplastics-this is what we should be worried about,” He says.